Hey there grow-getters!
This week I decided to go over a subject slowly gaining popularity in the cannabis world. This subject is on a variety of cannabis called Auto-flower. I’m sure you have heard about it before, maybe you’ve read a little bit of information about them, maybe you’ve seen them in the seed adds in your favorite cannabis magazine or even just by browsing through many of the seed banks available online. Maybe you’ve looked into them and tried to educate yourself on their advantages and disadvantages trying to weigh out the possibilities of purchasing some of these varieties for your-self.
I’m sure that most of what you have read, if you’ve researched them at all, has shed doubt about their quality and even their potency. The general consensus held by most traditionalist connoisseur growers, and older growers, (you know, the older guys that have been “growing since Nam”) is that the end product produced by these fabulous plants is subpar. As a matter of fact I believe the term they typically use is crap-weed. Look it up for yourself, these traditionalists are very harsh with their criticism, especially when it comes to anything new or different than what they are used to. They have been cultivating traditional and hybrid cannabis for years and are just certain that they have it all figured out. But as my Grams used to say, “Opinions are like ass-holes, everyone has one. Some smell rosy, and some smell like roses that got crapped on.” Well having said, that here are my two cents on the auto-flower variety debate and you can take it or leave it, but I stand firmly by it.
Let’s start with a brief lesson on what the auto flower variety is. The auto-flower variety is a hybrid of a third type of cannabis classified back in 1924 by Russian botanist D.E. Janichevsky. This third type of cannabis variety is called Ruderalis. Ruderalis is much shorter and usually finishes its life cycle much quicker than the commonly cultivated Sativa and Indica varieties. It also traditionally has lower amounts of THC content in comparison to the other two varieties.However, definitely much more than the almost THC depleted cousin of cannabis, hemp. The auto-flower variety is cross bred Ruderalis mixed with hybrid varieties of Sativa and Indica, to increase their THC content, while retaining their usefully short stature and quick life cycle. (If they didn’t, seed banks and vendors wouldn’t sell them). They can be very advantageous if you are limited to the space that you can grow in, and another advantage is that they don’t grow or flower based off of photoperiods like your standard Indica or Sativa varieties. Indicas and Sativas, always start and thrive while vegetating in the spring and early summer photoperiod, when daylight shines for 16-18 hours a day. Then enter their flowering stage when their photoperiod shortens to only 12 hours of daylight as summer draws to an end and fall begins. Indoor growers have to re-create these natural photoperiods, and while it’s certainly not rocket science, messing with your plants photo period in an inconsistent manner will induce light stress, which could force you’re ladies to grow male like pollen sacks.
The Sativa and Indica varieties were the standard for growers and cultivators for decades. However auto-flower varieties grow and flower off of a time based life span, meaning the will do their thing based off of time passed, not based off of the seasons or photo period. Most auto-flower varieties These lovely, often short, little ladies have a lot of power and potency in their own right will grow from seed to bud in just 70 days, close to half of the time of a regular grow season. To boot, most auto-flower breeders will recommend that you grow these plant with the lights on for 20 to 24 hours a day, as most don’t require a dark period and will utilize the light as long as it is available to them. Due to their usually small stature, their yields are typically a lot less than your average Indica or Sativa, usually only producing anywhere between 20 to 50 grams, however, some can produce around 400 grams depending on the strain and proper grow conditions, IE a well cultivated Auto-Pounder plant. Now let’s say that you smoke 1 to 1.5 ounces every month, you should only need to cultivate one, possibly two auto-flower plants at a time to cover your personal needs. Most times their THC percentage levels are at decent levels such as between 12 to 17 percent. Some auto flower strains such as White Widow Automatic, Purple Ryder, and Amnesia Haze Automatic can attain levels as high as 19 to 21 percent. Auto-flowers also having high levels of CBD’s due to their Ruderalis lineage. Many breeders are trying to increase the potency of their auto-flower strains, as a result their THC and CBD content is rising all of the time.
The reason I happen to like auto-flower varieties is that they happen to be great for stealth grows and small concealed grow cabinets alike, and they provide a quick return to the investment of your time. Varieties of auto-flower such as Low Ryder are small in stature fitting in even the smallest of grow environments and growing only a foot or two in height, and finish in around 60 to 70 days. The ability to grow a plant or two every two and a half months means that you can keep a continuous supply of cannabis flowing all year long. I also like the ease of the auto-flower; you place it under some effective full spectrum bulbs (I’d recommend a minimum of a three 100 watt equivalent cfl’s) and they’ll grow. No worrying about trying to figure out when to switch your photo periods or the color spectrum of the bulb i.e.; more blue spectrum for veg, more red spectrum for flower. Also they are almost idiot proof, so they are a great variety for the beginning cannabis grower who has limited experience in horticulture. Ultimately if you have given any thought to the auto-flower variety and have been caught between your interests, and the opinion of a “professional”, I’d say just go for it.
The Seeds aren’t expensive, and if you give them the proper care and environmental control, they’ll produce an awesome end product that you’ll be proud to smoke. Go on, Give them a whirl.
KEEP GROWING- T.B. GREEN